It is challenging to explain to our customers when a product is going to be released….. 1QFY06, 2HCY06, etc. Moreover, with the amount of products we release...it can be frustrating and confusing to keep them all straight.

 

This is challenge we dont take lightly in the Server group at Microsoft.  For example, how would you best explain to a customer a product that is scheduled to ship on June 30th?  Would you say the first half of 2006 (1H06)? Second Quarter (2Q06)? Would you use calendar years, or fiscal years…..argh!

 

Not to mention (although rare), what if the imminent product slipped a day or two– then you would have to reposition for another timeframe… 2H06 or 3Q06 for example. This can truly be a nightmare sometimes.

 

Hence, I am very pleased to announce, that moving forward product releases and milestones will be based upon zodiac signs. 

 

What is our justification you ask? Not only will this free us from the constraints of the rote Gregorian calendar, but it will also provide us the flexibility we sometimes need when relaying product timing.  And the cherry on top of this release-philosophy Sundae is Zodiac signs will also give a chance to better relay our product strengths and weaknesses!  

 

Please allow me to provide an of examples of past server products justify our stance:

 

Windows NT 3.5.1 was released in May of 1995 under the sign of Taurus. This product was one of the first Server products and when Windows Server started gaining traction in the server industry. 

 

Firstly NT 3.51 was the first Microsoft Server release to support the PowerPC CPU architecture and provided the much needed client/server support for interoperating with imminent release of Windows 95 later that year.  Looking at the zodiacal strengths of a Taurus we can see that they are reliable, faithful, calm, persevering, communicable, and patient…. what more could you want from a server?!!? 

 

Additionally Taurus (servers) are determined, solid, and stubborn. They are ambitious and work tirelessly to gain an important position in the network (anyone remember master browser wars?). They have sufficient emotional tranquility to forge ahead undiverted until the objective is reached.

 

Even the negative side of the zodiac allow us to speak about the weaknesses of the 3.5.1 server: Surroundings influence this server greatly and that they are very sensitive to outside influences (weather, moods of others). Not everyone who relates to this server can readily discover it's inner integrity and solidity. Additionally, these servers are usually thought to have rather superficial emotions.

 

 

Lets explore more....

 

Windows Server 2003,as you may or may not know, was an Aries and has some positive and negative characteristics that I am sure are you all familiar with:

 

Positive: A natural leader, full of energy, helpful of others, very open, patient, a defender of the weak or vulnerable, will die for a loved one, does not give in easily.

Negative: Needs to be in control, unaware of the feelings of others, does not listen, has jealous, intolerant, selfish tendencies and is a poor judge of character.

 

See?  This strategy is bulletproof!

 

Looking into the crystal ball of future releases we can see that Windows Server “Longhorn” is still on track for 2007, (I dont want to leak anthying, but it will most definitely in the 1H or 2H of the year).  So until the gestation period becomes clearer for a zodiac sign, we will have to defer to the broader Chinese Zodiac….more specifically 2007 is the Year of the Pig/Boar.

 

Pig/Boar Servers chivalrous and gallant. Whatever they do, they do with all their strength. For Boar Year servers, there is no left or right and there is no retreat. They have tremendous fortitude and great honesty. They don't make many friends but they make them for life, and anyone having a Pig/Boar Year friend is fortunate for they are extremely loyal. They don't talk much and are very well informed. Pig/Boar servers are quick tempered, yet they hate arguments and quarreling. They are kind to their loved ones. No matter how bad problems seem to be, Pig/Boar servers try to work them out, honestly if sometimes impulsively. Pigs/Boars are models of sincerity, purity, tolerance, and honor. When you first meet them, they seem too good to be true. They are careful and caring, obliging and chivalrous. Put your trust in them, and they won't let you down and he will never try to.

 

Pigs/Boars are born to give, to yield and to serve…

 

 

 

Ahh, this new strategy almost brings a tear to my eye.....for more details on the Zodiac release philosophy, you can read more here.

 

Cheers!

 

Ward Ralston and Demorie Crowe